Speaker Company DesignQ Audio Debuts with Dealer-Direct Model

Company, which quietly launched in 2010 with 17 SKUs, is rolling out another 8-10 in 2011.

Design Q Audio's VR-IP8 home theater speaker has a 1-inch aluminum tweeter that swivels.
Jason Knott · February 10, 2011

In the middle of a recession, the last thing many integrators might say the industry needs is another in-wall/in-ceiling speaker company.

But that’s exactly what DesignQ Audio is bringing to the party, but with a twist. DesignQ Audio is selling highly designed, frame-less speakers at affordable prices directly to dealers vs. using distribution.

To date, elegant frame-less loudspeakers that are sold dealer-direct have been more expensive. And there are lots of low-cost speakers with magnetic grilles sold through distribution.

“The door opened wider for dealer-direct manufacturers when so many manufacturers changed the way they sell,” says Steven Scharp, DesignQ Audio’s vice president. “They alienated their dealers by selling to everyone and not protecting their margins.”

The company, which quietly launched in March 2010 with 17 SKUs, is rolling out another eight to 10 in 2011, including a freestanding bookshelf speaker, subwoofer and on-wall.

Its products include lines labeled Home Theater, Xtreme, Evolution, Endurance (outdoor) and Contractor. All the speakers are frame-less except for the low-cost Contractor series. The units include in-ceilings of 5.25, 6.5 and 8 inches in diameter, and in-walls of 6 and 8 inches. Prices range from $1400 per pair down to $200 per pair. Most of the units are in the $600/pair to $700/pair range.

DesignQ has about 100 dealers in the U.S., “and that is without our full offering of products,” notes Scharp, a former executive at TruAudio. DesignQ Audio has a “strong financial backing” from Dave Dwelle, former owner of 14-store Sun Stereo in California back in the 1970s and DWD Loudspeakers. Dwelle is currently part owner of Nella Oil and Pacific Power Management, a solar integration company.

7 Clever Ways to Hide Home Technology - CE Pro Download

Most technology products are not that visually appealing. Black boxes and tangled wires do not add to the character of a high-end smart home project. Luckily, our integrator readers have a number of clever solutions so these components don’t have to be visible in your next project.

  About the Author

Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at jknott@ehpub.com

Follow Jason on social media:

Jason also participates in these groups:
LinkedIn · Google+

View Jason Knott's complete profile.

  Article Topics

Speakers · News · DesignQ Audio · All Topics
CE Pro Magazine

Read More Articles Like This… With A Free Subscription

CE Pro magazine is the resource you need to keep up-to-date on the latest products, techniques, designs and business practices. Subscribe today!

Subscribe Today!